Photo gallery by Emily Ross ’17 -- COMING SOON
NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- A brilliant assist from Bailey Ulbricht (Jr./Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) and goals by Caroline Sheffield (Fy./Seattle, Wash./Garfield) and Ellie Wilson (Jr./Roseville, Minn./Roseville) helped lift the Carleton College women’s soccer team past No. 24 Concordia College by a tally of 2-1.
With just about a week left in the MIAC regular season and sitting six points outside the conference playoff picture, Carleton (7-8-1, 5-4 MIAC) knew that the matchup against the Cobbers (10-5-1, 6-2-1 MIAC) was the definition of a must-win. And the Knights responded to the challenge in terrific fashion, topping a second nationally-ranked opponent over the last two weeks.
“Today's match was excellent,” said Carleton head coach Jocelyn Keller. “I'm happy for our front runners, central midfielders, and our back line. I will commend the entire team on the efforts in our practices leading up to today and challenging themselves as well as their teammates.
“Concordia is a strong team, and they are particularly strong through the midfield and central forward. I thought we challenged their midfield and won some great battles. We had a plan today, and we were able to execute.”
Carleton more than held its own against the first-place squad from Concordia, severely limiting the Cobbers’ strong offensive attack and registering a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal.
The seeds for the Knights’ crucial victory were sown very early on in the afternoon, when Sheffield tallied Carleton’s opening goal just minutes into the match. In fact, the first-year’s tally, which was set up beautifully by a well-placed and well-paced cross off the foot of Wilson, ignited a strong stretch of soccer for the home team in the first half.
From Sheffield’s goal in the second minute of play up until the 29-minute mark, the Knights seemed to dictate the pace and possession of the match. Concordia managed just one shot over those opening moents of the contest, until a questionable foul was called against a Carleton defender inside the box, handing the Cobbers a penalty kick opportunity. Elizabeth Robinson converted the chance for her 12th goal of the season and knotted the contest, 1-1.
However, thanks to the second-half combination between Ulbricht and Wilson, that lone goal for the visitors would not be enough.
In the 72nd minute, Ulbricht—who leads Carleton with five assists thus far this year—carried the ball to the top left corner of the 18-yard box. She dribbled around and past a flurry of Cobber defenders, weaving her way along the top of the box. Finding some open space, Ulbricht drew the attention of the final line of the Concordia defense, opening up a “backdoor” lane for Wilson. With the Cobbers focused squarely on Ulbricht, the Knights midfielder slotted a perfect pass beyond the last defender and right to the foot of her hard-charging teammate. Wilson put a nice touch on the ball and re-directed it outside the reach of the Concordia keeper. All of a sudden Carleton once again held the lead.
Carleton’s defense, spearheaded by a strong performance from goalkeeper Mikayla Coulombe (So./Crystal, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s), held off Concordia for the remainder of the match and secured the victory.
The Knights still have hope for a spot in the postseason, but they must win their final two games and get help in order to pass enough squads to snag a spot in the four-team MIAC Playoffs.
Carleton’s next game will be played at Bell Field on Wednesday, Oct. 30 against University of St. Thomas. Start time is set from 3:30 in the afternoon. Live video coverage and live stats will be provided by Knights Online.